2011 file photo of an unidentified man smokes medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Cafe, in Portland, Ore. At a July 3 event, Weed the People, people will gather to smoke legally and receive free marijuana from Oregon growers. (AP Photo)

Jamie Hale ~ OregonLive ~

On July 1, recreational marijuana will officially be legal in Oregon. Some kind of celebration, a commemoration of the occasion, was inevitable.
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But that party won't come from the usual suspects in Portland. Hempstalk, the time-honored yet controversial cannabis fair, was denied a permit  this year. High Times, which brings its Cannabis Cup events to cities around the world, has struggled to set something up locally.
 
Instead, Portland will get a locally-sourced marijuana free-for-all – a sharing and sampling party that all but guarantees to generate cloud thick plume of smoke in celebration.
 
The July 3 event will be called Weed the People – the patriotic poster features an eagle clutching a branch of marijuana leaves in one talon, a bunch of joints in the other – organized by local cannabis extractors The CO2 Company alongside the Portland Mercury and Oregon's Cannabis Concierge.
 
Attendees can pay $40 for a ticket to the event, which promises up to 7 grams of free samples from growers in addition to industry swag, educational opportunities and a "Vaporizer Lounge."
 
"We are focused on responsible adult usage, and helping the community usher in legalized cannabis," organizers write. "Whether you partake regularly or haven't touched the stuff in years, this event will [offer] something for you! Don't be afraid of your freedom!"
 
It sounds a bit surreal, but Weed the People is staying with the soon-to-be mainstream, following the new recreational marijuana laws to the T.
 
According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the recreational market, Oregonians 21 and older will be allowed to consume marijuana at home or on private property as of July 1. Since a retail marketplace is not yet in place, people are only allowed to share or give marijuana away for free.
 
To comply, organizers of Weed the People will only allow people 21 and older into the event, which will take place at Metal Craft Fabrication in north Portland. Growers there will give everything away for free, or else "share" with attendees.
 
Once inside, attendees will be free to exercise their new right to light up, or else take their score home.
 
Security guards will enforce a strict ban on outside cannabis, as well as alcohol and marijuana edibles, going so far as to search bags at the door.
 
"This is more than free weed. This is more than vendors, food and vapes," organizers write. "This is history in the making! Join us for a day to remember!"
 
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